Friday, March 23, 2018

Project List and Thread Inventory Management - 3/23/18

March 23, 2018--For many years (since 2013) I've used and loved DDH Software's HanDBase app to manage my Projects and Thread Inventory (see Favorite Apps and Tools page on the right).  Loved having the ability to sync the data from my PC to my iPad and iPhone and visa versa.  It was the only app I could find that handled thousands of records without crashing, and could be personalized.

However, I've had three issues--firstly, the sync had to be done manually from my PC to each device (no "cloud" here); secondly, DDH Software is a one-man shop (no support if something happens to this guy); and thirdly, when I purchased new equipment (PC, laptop, iPad, iPhone, etc.), it was a bear to re-sync my data to my new equipment.  

In comes Microsoft's OneDrive, a cloud storage system that I'm subscribed to along with Microsoft Office 365.  For a nominal amount each year, both my husband and I each get 1 TB of cloud storage and the latest and greatest Mircosoft Office tools (Word, Excel, Access, etc.).

What does this mean?  I can now use Excel to manage my needlework projects and threads inventory, etc. which is immediately and automatically synced to my OneDrive account.  I can access these Excel files from all my devices and if there is no internet connection, can download them to view offline.

It was very easy to transition my data from HanDBase to Excel by exporting everything to a Microsoft XLS file.  The ability to access the different files (e.g., to access the projects spreadsheet while in the threads inventory spreadsheet) was seamlessly exported to my new Excel files from HanDBase.  That was a nice surprise.

Any downside?  Yes, I miss the "form" used in HanDBase to input a new record.  It's easier to see all the fields in a record when using an input form.  In Excel, I need to scroll across a large spreadsheet and fill in each column.  Not the end of the world--I just need to adapt.

Now I want to learn more about Excel's advanced features.  Maybe an online class--but that is a mañana thing.  Of course, I could really "grow up" and learn how to use Access, including it's form layout tool.


  1. Access is easy to learn. Most of it is drag and drop unless you want to get fancy. For that you might need to learn a bit of programming. There are a lot of tutorials online. It's great for personal stuff but I DO NOT recommend it for large businesses with multiple users. It's a bear to support >.<

  2. Access isn't that hard to learn. There are online tutorials and although I've forgotten what I learned over time, it wasn't that hard to set up and use.

  3. You can do forms for simple data entry in Excel as well - google and youtube are your friends here.

  4. Thanks everyone. I'll start with Excel forms first before delving into the mysteries of Access.

  5. I'm very new at using Excel but would like to set something up to manage my Threads inventory. Any suggestions for how to set up the spreadsheet?

    1. Hi. Set up your columns to track the things you want. E.g., thread name, color, color number, contents, projects, etc. Have fun setting up your spreadsheet.

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